My twenties have been rife with change. And not just the normal change that someone goes through in their twenties (graduating college, starting their careers, making job and relationship changes). I got married at 24 and was signing divorce papers just over two years later.
Not all of the changes in my twenties have been negative. Some of them have been downright amazing. Like, the best things that have ever happened to me.
But negativity can seep into every crack and crevice. And if I gave them the chance, my thoughts during those negative times definitely could have taken over, and possibly even prevented the super positive things that came later.
But I hit a point where I decided I didn’t want to be negative. I didn’t want to let the negative things that had happened define me or any part of my life, and so I made some serious mindset changes to help me to stay positive and therefore lead a seriously happier life!
MINDSET CHANGES FOR A HAPPIER LIFE
This is one of the single mindset changes I’ve made to learn to be happier. I have never been good with change. It created a lot of anxiety for me.
But change is inevitable. And the more we resist change, the more anxiety we’re going to have about it. But by just acknowledging that change is acceptable (and that some change is good), I’ve been able to change my outlook a lot! Now instead of being anxious about every change, I’ve been able to look back and see what positive changes I’ve gone through, and that makes me more excited for the positive changes to come in the future!
Challenge Your Thoughts
I’m an overthinker to the extreme. And all of that overthinking causes a lot of anxiety and worry. Only recently have I learned that some of those negative thoughts are downright WRONG and I can challenge them and prove to myself that they’re wrong.
So when I’m having negative thoughts or worries, I like to stop and really think about what I’m worried about. I ask myself WHY I’m having this thought, and whether it’s a realistic thought.
If it is a realistic thought and something I really do have reason to worry, then I make a list of everything I can to do fix or change it and prevent the bad outcome from happening.
If it’s not a realistic thought (which is usually isn’t) I talk myself through all the evidence of WHY it’s not realistic. It may sound silly, but it actually helps me a lot! If you’re someone who worries and overthinks a lot, it’s definitely worth trying!
Unhappiness frequently comes, not only from the situation we’re at in our lives, but the outlook we have on it. If you’re regularly focusing on the worst parts of your life, it’s honestly not a surprise that you’re struggling to stay positive!
Focus on practicing gratitude at some point every single day. Maybe it’s just taking 30 seconds to write down in your planner or journal one thing you’re grateful for. Whatever your strategy is, make sure to spend at least some time each day focusing on the truly awesome things in your life that you’re grateful for. We all have something going for us.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
I’ve talked about this on the blog before, but surrounding yourself with positive people is SO important.
I feel like we’ve all had a friend who was just a truly negative person, and who made us feel more negative when we were around them. Sometimes you might not even realize it, especially if it’s a friend you love to get together with to vent or gossip. But that isn’t bringing any more joy to your life!
Embrace the positive influences in your life, and distance yourself from the toxic people.
Take a Break From Negative Media
For the past decade or so, I’ve been someone who follows new fairly closely. First of, studying political science in college meant that in my classes, we spent a LOT of time talking about news and current events. And after college, I transitioned into a job where I also really need to stay on top of the news. Plus, I just always liked to be up-to-date on what is going on in the world.
But over the past couple of years, I’ve definitely found that negative media has been having a serious impact on my happiness. I might read an article or watch a news segment that upsets me, and it puts me in a bad mood the entire day!
Now, I spend a LOT less time paying attention to the news. Yes, I still think it’s important to know what’s happening in the world, but not at the expense of my own happiness or mental health. And while I do still follow the news, anytime I feel that negativity seeping in, I take a break.
If it’s really important to you to follow the news, there are still ways to reduce the negativity. Even something as simple as reading the news later in the day, that way it isn’t setting the tone for your entire day first thing in the morning.
Eliminate Negative Self-Talk
Hearing negative talk can have a surprisingly strong effect on our happiness, and unfortunately, we are all some of the worst offenders to ourselves.
For the next few days, try to pay attention to the things you think or say to yourself. How many times do you get down on yourself about your appearance or your weight or something else? How often do you compare your career success to someone else’s? How often do you get upset with yourself for being unproductive or not getting to the gym?
No one will ever be a bigger advocate for your life than you. If you want to live a happier life, it’s time to start talking yourself up! Focus on the things you love about yourself while positively working on the things you’d rather change.
Adopt a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is pretty simple – it’s basically just the belief that skills and knowledge can be developed if you put in the effort. This is the opposite of a fixed mindset, which means believing that those traits are fixed and we can’t change them.
Have you ever found yourself thinking that you can’t achieve some goal or get some job because you aren’t smart enough, or wouldn’t be able to master a certain skill? If the answer is yes, you’re working with a fixed mindset. Unfortunately, by having a fixed mindset, you’re limiting your own potential SO much!
If you genuinely believe you won’t be able to do a certain job or learn a certain skill, then you definitely won’t. But if you have a growth mindset and actually believe that you CAN do something if you try hard enough, then you’ll be more likely to keep trying until you figure it out!
Take Control of Your Life
At the end of the day, no one has more control over your life and your happiness than you. If there are areas of your life that are making your life unhappy, you have the control to change that. Sit down and make a list of the greatest sources of unhappiness in your life, and spend some time really considering what you can do to change them.
Maybe you hate your job. Is it just that specific job, or do you dislike your career field in general? Answering that question will help you figure out your next steps to finding a job that you will enjoy.
Maybe it’s an unhappy relationship you’ve been dragging your feet on getting out of, whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friend relationship.
Maybe you’re unhappy with your health. Write down some manageable, real steps for yourself such as joining a gym, making yourself a workout schedule, and creating a healthy meal plan.
Remember, You Can Only Control Yourself
While you need to start taking control of your life, you also need to remember that you are the ONLY person you can control. You can’t control anyone else’s actions!
How often do you find yourself thinking, “If (insert name here) would just do (insert action here), then I would be so much happier,”? If that’s a normal thought for you, then we need to change that!
Anytime you’re making your happiness contingent on someone else’s action or inaction, you’re setting yourself up for unhappiness. First of all, we can’t control anyone else’s actions. Also, who says that action would make you happy anyway? The only way to guarantee happiness is to create it for yourself.
BEFORE YOU GO
It’s amazing how much our mindset can impact our happiness and success! And it’s kind of awesome that by making a few small mindset shifts, you can exponentially boost your own happiness! If you’re having trouble staying positive and living a happy life, try making a few of these mindset changes and see what happens!
Make sure to check out these other posts you might like on Refined Revelry!
- 7 Things to Do on Sunday For a More Productive Week
- How to Set Goals You Can Actually Achieve
- How to Start a Side Hustle and Make Money From Home
And don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 6-day goal setting challenge where I teach you to set goals and create a long-term action plan to ensure you reach those goals!